CR South defeated CB South 3-1 in Thursday’s SHSHL AA title game. Photos provided courtesy of Dara N. King Photography. Check back for a gallery of photos that not only capture the action but also the postgame celebration.
By Ben Reese
HATFIELD -- Every ice hockey team has a good first line, a line that contributes more than its share of goals.
But the really good teams have good second and third lines that get their share of the scoring also.
Council Rock South has just that.
While the first line for the Golden Hawks got the first goal of the game, it was the performance of the other two lines which led to a 3-1 victory over Central Bucks South and the Suburban High School Hockey League AA championship at Hatfield Ice on Thursday.
Antii Autere got the first goal for Rock South in the first period, but it was the scoring of Jeremy Purcell on the second line that provided the winning punch. He tallied the final two scores for the Hawks.
"We've talked about this through the years," CR South head coach Joe Houk said. "You win big games like this because of your second and third lines. The second and third lines won the game tonight.
"Our guys really stepped up and really did a good job. Everybody was supportive. If one guy got caught up, we go right back."
Your second line really stepped up, Jeremy.
"That was the plan," Purcell said. "We've been talking about that all week.
"It's a championship. We've got to step up.
"It's essential (to get production from everybody). We've all got to work together.
"That's a very good team. We had to put it all together to win in the end."
Houk was very proud of the way his team came together.
"It was kind of a slow start," he said. "It was kind of lopsided in the beginning but we buckled down a bit.
"We controlled about three-quarters of that game up until about eight minutes left in the third period. They were buzzing, but we kind of played a real secure game where everything was to the outside and everything went deep (into the offensive zone)."
CB South assistant coach Tyler Skorski, filling in for head coach Shaun McGinty, realized what his team ran into.
"They came out buzzing," Skroski said. "They came out buzzing against North Penn (in the quarterfinals) and they carried it over to this game.
"These games come down to who wanted it more, and I know our guys fought to the end but by the end it was a little too late. You spot a team a three-goal lead, you spot a good coach a three-goal lead and it's hard to come back from there."
Autere got things started for the Golden Hawks in the first period. He collected a pass from Matt Costantini and beat Titan goalie Mason Moyer at the 6:05 mark on the power play.
The game stayed that way into the second period when Purcell did his best work. He scored his first goal at 2:54 and added the second on the power play at the 10:39 mark.
In that second period, Rock South appeared to have scored a goal at 5:05. But the marker was waved off because a penalty had been called before the shot was taken.
The lone goal of the third period and the lone goal for the Titans was scored by Aidan Gaffney. It came with slightly more than three minutes remaining in regulation.
"I'm exhausted," said a smiling Purcell. "But it feels good."
Jimmy Sweeney turned away 29 of 30 shots he faced in a strong outing in goal for the Golden Hawks.
Both teams now advance to the opening round of the Flyers Cup. CB South, the number one seed, will face Conestoga on Tuesday, March 3, at Hatfield Ice at 6:20 pm. CR South, the sixth seed, will face No. 11 Parkland at 8:45 on March 3 at Grundy.
CR South 3, CB South 1
CR South 1 2 0 -- 3
CB South 0 0 1 -- 1
First period: 1, Antii Autere CRS (Matt Constantini) 6:05 PP.
Second period: 2, Jeremy Purcell CRS (unassisted) 2:54; 3, Purcell CRS (Bill Harrelson) 10:39 PP.
Third period: Aidan Gaffney CBS (Colin Abbonizio, Daniel Kvecher) 13:55.
Shots: CRS 19, CBS 30. Saves: Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 29, Mason Moyer (CBS) 16.